how to find tow rating

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HOW TO FIND YOUR VEHICLE’S TOW RATING

HOW TO FIND YOUR VEHICLE’S TOW RATING

Knowing your vehicle’s abilities allows you to properly pack and prepare for a safe towing trip.

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Ready to tow a trailer? It’s not quite as simple as hooking a trailer up to a tow vehicle. There are many details you must keep in mind, but one of the most fundamental elements surrounds weight. Simply put, does your pickup truck or SUV have the ability to safely tow your loaded trailer? That’s where tow ratings and towing capacities come into play.

The tow rating or towing capacity refers to the maximum weight you can pull with a given vehicle. This rating, easily found within your vehicle’s owner’s manual, not only represents the weight of the trailer itself, but the weight of any cargo loaded within it.

Your vehicle’s tow rating takes several factors into consideration, including:

  • Vehicle structure
  • Chassis and suspension design
  • Engine type, axle ratios, and other drivetrain variables
  • Hitch design and class
  • Tire ratings and load capacities

These numbers aren’t arbitrary – in fact, they’re the result of extensive real-world testing. When developing new pickup trucks, SUVs and crossovers for production, GMC engineers perform extensive tests that push vehicles to their extreme limits in order to determine the precise physical abilities of every truck, crossover and SUV.

While baseline tow ratings are available in the GMC trailering guide, detailed tow ratings are listed within your vehicle’s owner’s manual.

Even these figures are a baseline – they represent a base-spec vehicle with two 175-lb passengers and no cargo. If you have a high-trim vehicle, have accessory equipment installed, or are carrying more passengers or cargo with you while trailering, a realistic trailering number may be lower than stated.

Although it is important not to exceed your vehicle’s tow rating, there are other important weight limits that should never be exceeded while towing, including:

  • Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR), which represents the maximum weight your vehicle can carry, including passengers, cargo, fuel and the vehicle itself.
  • Gross combined weight rating (GCWR), which represents the maximum weight of your loaded tow vehicle and your loaded trailer combined.
  • Gross axle weight ratings (GAWR) on both the vehicle and trailer, which represent the maximum amount of weight a particular axle can carry, including the wheel and tire.
  • Hitch weight rating, which indicates the maximum weight your hitch is designed to safely carry.
  • Tongue weight, which should be between 10-15 percent of the total loaded trailer weight for conventional trailers and 15-30 percent of the total loaded trailer weight for gooseneck or fifth wheel trailers.

Exceeding even one of those ratings while towing with could not only cause severe damage to your vehicle or trailer, but also put yourself, your passengers and others in danger.

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  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges.

  • The Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price excludes destination freight charge, tax, title, license, dealer fees and optional equipment. See your GMC dealer for details. Click here to see all GMC destination freight charges. Bed/Roof-Mounted Bicycle Carriers shown. Requires crossbars or Thule Rack Solution. Non-GM warranty. Warranty by Thule®. See dealer for more information.

  • Canyon’s 7000-lb rating requires available trailering package and 3.6L V-6 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra's 12,500-lb rating requires Sierra Double Cab or Crew Cab Short box 2wd with 6.2L EcoTec3 V8 engine and NHT Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Requires Crew Cab with available 6.2L V-8 and Max Trailering Package. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Sierra Denali's 9,300-lb rating requires 2wd. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Trailer weight ratings are calculated assuming properly equipped vehicle, plus driver and one passenger. The weight of other optional equipment, passengers and cargo will reduce the trailer weight your vehicle can tow. See dealer for details.

  • These maximum payload ratings are intended for comparison purposes only. Before you buy a vehicle or use it to haul people or cargo, carefully review the vehicle loading section of the Owner’s Manual and check the carrying capacity of your specific vehicle on the label on the inside of the driver’s door jamb.

  • Savana Cargo's 10,000-lb rating requires 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Savana Passenger's 10,000-lb rating requires 2500 Wheel Base with 6.0L V8 engine. Before you buy a vehicle or use it for trailering, carefully review the trailering section of the Owner’s Manual. The weight of passengers, cargo and options or accessories may reduce the amount you can tow.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle and trailer combination, including the weight of driver, passengers, fuel, optional equipment and cargo in the vehicle and trailer.

  • When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR). When properly equipped, includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

  • When properly equipped; includes weight of vehicle, passengers, cargo and equipment.

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